Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Shane Farthing stepping down as WABA’s ED

Shane at the FABB Guide celebration
Today Shane Farthing, Executive Director of our parent organization, Washington Area Bicyclist Association, announced that he will be stepping down from that position the end of June. Shane has done great work at WABA over the past five years.

I served on the WABA Board for several years during the period when Shane was hired. He brought excellent administrative and financial skills to organization. Thanks to Shane for his hard work on behalf of DC area bicyclists over the past five years.

WABA is now looking for an Executive Director. See the position description.

From Shane's announcement:
Five years ago I came to WABA with a list of priorities that I believed the organization should pursue to make biking safer and more popular throughout the region. For the last five years, I have led the organization, systematically realizing those priorities in pursuit of our mission.

Today, it is with a great sense of pride in our accomplishments and in recognition of the need for new priorities and new challenges—both for WABA, and for me—that I write to tell you that at the end of June I will be stepping down as WABA’s Executive Director. There is only so long one’s transportation, recreation, and occupation can overlap so significantly before one’s mind starts to look outside for new things to learn, new challenges to address, and new ways to contribute.

I am immeasurably grateful to the WABA board, staff, and members for supporting the priorities that brought me to the organization. We have worked every day, many nights, and countless weekends to make biking available to all the region’s residents as a tool to access opportunity, not just a niche cause. And while there is a long way to go, I am proud of our work to grow and diversify the region’s biking community, while also doing the hard work to make every person safer while riding.

Take away the fancy words and that’s what it’s all about: making biking safe and popular. And it’s been a privilege to make that my mission for a half-decade in the city and region that I love.

I am sad to be leaving WABA. It is a wonderful organization and this is a wonderful job. But it is time for a new direction. As I consider and seek that new challenge and new way to contribute, I want to thank each of you for your support.

I have had the privilege of knowing that whatever I have done here at WABA, I have had the support of tens of thousands of people behind me. For that, I am incredibly grateful. And, please, remember that even when you’re out there riding alone, you are part of the WABA community. With every turn of the pedals, you have tens of thousands of people behind you, should you need them.

The best part of this job has been coming to know that with absolute certainty.

In the coming weeks, the WABA board will be conducting an open search for WABA's next Executive Director. The position description is here, and I encourage everyone reading this to take a moment to reflect on whether you are the person WABA needs next.

Again, thank you. If you have questions or concerns, reply to this email. Or catch me at Bike to Work Day or Tour de Fat.

It's nearly Bike Month, after all, and I plan to truly enjoy this one.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Hearings announced for I-66 outside-the-beltway project

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has announced that it will host public hearings in late May and early June on an upcoming environmental assessment for the Transform 66 Outside the BeltwayProject. The Fairfax County hearings are May 27 & 28. Details are below.

This is another great opportunity for bicyclists and other citizens concerned about transportation options in Fairfax to provide comments to VDOT. We’ll be posting our comments on the latest plans after they are released 15 days before the hearings.

Project Area Slide by VDOT
You can review project information at, at the public hearings, or at VDOT's Northern Virginia District Office at 4975 Alliance Drive in Fairfax beginning May 12, 2015. VDOT says that preliminary plans, project schedule, and right-of-way, environmental and civil rights information, will be available for review.  Written comments may be submitted by mail to Ms. Susan Shaw, Megaprojects Director, at the VDOT District Office address above, or by email to Please reference "Transform 66 Outside the Beltway Public Hearing" in the subject line. Comments must be postmarked, emailed or delivered to VDOT by June 18, 2015 to be included in the public hearing record.

The hearing schedule is as follows, with all hearings running between 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. with a brief presentation at each hearing beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015
VDOT Northern Virginia District Office
4975 Alliance Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030

Thursday, May 28, 2015
Oakton High School - Cafeteria (Entrance #1 or #14)
2900 Sutton Road, Vienna, VA 22181

Tuesday, June 2, 2015
Battlefield High School - Cafeteria (Entrance #1 or #4)
15000 Graduation Drive, Haymarket, VA 20169

Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Bull Run Elementary School - Cafeteria (Entrance #1)

15301 Lee Highway, Centreville, VA 2012

By Steve Ward.

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Monday, April 27, 2015

Air Quality Awareness Week April 27-May 3

From Clean Air Partners on Air Quality Awareness Week, ways to Reduce Your Contribution to Air Pollution:
  • You can protect the air and your health through simple actions like using transit, carpooling, telecommuting, refueling your car after dusk, or using electric instead of gas-powered lawn tools. Check out Clean Air Partners’ informational guides for more tips on how you can make a big difference.
  • Did you know that leaving your car at home just two days a week will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of 1,600 pounds per year? Check out the Clean Air Partners Guide to Keeping Your  Lungs Healthy
  • It’s even more important to be environmentally-friendly on poor air quality days. Sign up for AirAlerts to stay in the know about your air quality.

See also the new regional air quality infographic. Click on the image to see the full pdf:

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

Fourth Estate article on Braddock Road expansion

Fairfax County is investigating various options for improving the Braddock Road corridor between Guinea Road and I-495 as part of the Braddock Road Multimodal Study. One of the options is improved bicycle access. The Fourth Estate recently published an article about the study, Braddock Road may be expanded, but not anytime soon. We were interviewed for the article and expressed our concerns about bicycle safety.
The most recent Braddock Task Force meeting on the attitude study was in April 1. Members from the Fairfax Advocates for Better Bicycling have attended some of the meetings to give their feedback. FABB Chairman Bruce Wright wants cyclists in the area, especially from Mason, get involved with the process.

“Braddock road is a critical connection for cyclists in the area and it’s important that whatever happens there allows cyclists to safely, conveniently get to their points of destination,” Wright said.

According to Wright, the current plan proposes for parallel side paths, but he does not think this design is safe enough for cyclists and pedestrians at Braddock’s busy intersections.

“Enforcement of right-turn-on-red and just general road laws is terrible in this county. People think it’s their given right to turn right on a red light without stopping,” Wright said. “What that means is cyclists and pedestrians trying to cross the road even with a green pedestrian signal are often in danger of motorists who are not looking and pull in at the intersection without stopping.”

Another concern FABB has is the county keeping up with maintenance of the trails. Wright said there are no dedicated funds for this maintenance.


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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Transportation Safety Summit Friday in Reston

Fairfax County Police are holding a Transportation Safety Summit at the Reston Town Center Pavilion on Friday from 10-1 pm. Information about bicycle and pedestrian safety will be available from several organizations including FABB. It's an opportunity to discuss how to make Fairfax a safer place to bike and walk.

The event is not really a summit, which implies more of a conference or series of meetings. As we understand it, organizations will have literature and other handouts available and representatives will be there to discuss the topic of safety. For us at FABB it will be a good opportunity to have conversations with cyclists and police about bike safety education and enforcement.

In our opinion, more enforcement of existing traffic laws would make our community a safer place. Motorists rarely stop when turning right on red. Many motorists regularly exceed the posted speed limit. In our experience enforcement of these infractions is limited. If police don't have the resources for additional enforcement, then the county needs to make enforcement a priority and allocate the necessary funds.

Here's info from Police News blog:
Do you walk, ride, or drive in Northern Virginia? If so, please join us for the first-ever Fairfax County Police-sponsored Transportation Safety Summit at the Reston Town Center on Friday, April 24, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. We want to hear your ideas on how to help keep our commuters and residents safe; give us feedback, comments, and suggestions.

With recent Metro Silver Line expansions, roadway expansions, and increased urbanization centers, we are facing a changing landscape in our region. Join law enforcement agencies from across Northern Virginia, along with our VDOT partners, experts in bicycling and pedestrian safety, Drive Smart Virginia, Metro officials, FCPS school transportation and safety officers, and many more.

Between 2011-2014, there have been roughly 665 collisions involving pedestrians in Fairfax County, alone. There have been roughly 313 involving collisions with bicycles.

Help us make our region safer.


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Monday, April 20, 2015

Construction along W&OD promises improvements, requires more care on detours

By Kelley Westenhoff

The photo below from 19 April shows the new refuge island in Herndon where the W&OD crosses Crestview Drive.  You can see a cyclist using it (as viewed from the east).

Crestview Drive - photo by Kelley Westenhoff

There also is construction blocking the trail at Van Buren in Herndon with a detour up to the light at Monroe that uses the narrow sidewalks on both sides. It looks like the curb cuts are being reworked and an island is possibly being added.

Finally, there is major construction blocking the W&OD just before Lawson Road southeast (where the Old Mill Kennels are). The detour is a steep gravel side trail at a location where the trail has been washing out. The detour sucks, unless you have 14-year-old knees, mountain bike tires, and no fear of natural consequences.  So, be careful out there.

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Monday, April 13, 2015

Tell Fairfax County how you bike to VRE and Metro

The Bike Fairfax Wikimapping Project has now opened its interactive map to the public to post their routes to Metrorail and Virginia Railway Express (VRE) stations in Fairfax County and provide feedback until June 30, 2015. 

Photo Courtesy of Fairfax County
The project, which is an extension of the recently passed Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan, provides commuters and leisure bicyclists the opportunity to help prioritize future bicycle improvement projects in Fairfax County.  The information provided by the public will help guide the decision making process on future bicycle infrastructure improvements including wayfinding signage and bike lanes.

Instructions and a video demonstration on how to map your route and provide feedback can be found at  To access the interactive map directly, visit

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Saturday, April 11, 2015

Support needed to save Kingstowne bike lanes

The proposed Kingstowne Village Parkway road diet and on-road bike lanes are in jeopardy unless we act now.  Your help is needed to show strong public support for the proposed bicycle improvements before the public comment period closes on April 15, 2015.  

Fairfax County Department of Transportation(FCDOT) and the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are proposing a road diet on Kingstowne Village Parkway that would reduce the current four travel lanes to two with one center turn lane and would provide on-road bike facilities in both directions. The addition of bike lanes on Kingstowne Village Parkway would help build out the County’s bike network as recommended in Fairfax County’s Bicycle Master Plan and would provide needed connection to existing bike lanes on Beulah Street.
Road Diet - Graphic by FCDOT

At the second public meeting held April 8, there was significant opposition for the proposed road diet.  Opponents voiced concerns that focused mostly on traffic volume and the effect a new nearby development would have on local traffic. VDOT’s traffic study, however, indicates Kingstowne Village Parkway has significant extra capacity and is well below the 20,000 vehicles per day threshold for determining road diet candidates.

Road diets and on-street bike lanes make streets safer for all users - bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers alike.  In 2010, FCDOT and VDOT completed a road diet on Lawyers Road in Fairfax County, a very similar roadway to Kingstowne Village Parkway.  A before and after study by VDOT found that while average travel times remained generally the same, there was a 67% reduction in motor vehicle crashes, and it reduced the number of people driving more than 15 mph over the speed limit.  

FCDOT Views - Graphic by FCDOT

Road diets provide traffic calming and the addition of bike lanes offer people who bicycle a safe place on the road, and an alternative to side paths that are often shared with pedestrians.  Let’s not allow a few vocal opponents to undermine efforts to make Kingstowne Village Parkway safer and more accessible for all users.  

Please email Fairfax County Supervisor Jeff McKay (, and copy Adam Lind of FCDOT (, to let them know you support the road diet and bicycle lanes for Kingstowne Village Parkway.  Time is short so please provide your feedback before the public comment period closes on April 15. 

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FABB's Bruce Wright receives volunteer service award

Please pass along your congratulations to FABB Chairman Bruce Wright, who was recently awarded a Citation of Merit by the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations as part of its annual Citizen of the Year competition. The program seeks to recognize and honor those citizens whose voluntary contributions of time and talent have resulted in major accomplishments that have enhanced the quality of life for the citizens of Fairfax County.

We can think of no one more deserving than Bruce, not only for all of his tireless efforts to get the Fairfax County Bicycle Master Plan passed last year but for his work since 2005 in advancing public recognition of the economic, health, and community benefits of transportation by bicycle. Bruce has been a major catalyst in getting the county government to commit to major new bicycling infrastructure throughout Fairfax and in implementing a myriad of measures designed to make our county a better, healthier, and more fun place to live.

Bruce and his fellow winners will be honored at the Fairfax County Federation of Citizens Associations annual banquet, which is scheduled for Sunday, May 3, starting at 5:30pm at the Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner, 1960 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA 22102. Please join us in celebrating Bruce’s accomplishment.  You can RSVP online and the cost of the banquet is $65 per person. 

Posted by Steve Ward. 

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